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Tal Avitzur in Santa Barbara magazine

PAINTER JOHN SINGER SARGENT ONCE REMARKED, "Every time I paint a portrait, I lose a friend. "That's unlikely to be the case for part-time Santa Ynez based photographer Mark Robert Halper, whose new book, Between Seer and Seen ($45, Late Harvest Additions), features wonderfully iconic photographic portraits of Santa Barbara County artists. Halper chose the assembled group based upon his personal reaction to their work. Painter Nancy Gifford, a former model and the subject of a particularly compelling portrait, immediately sensed the endeavor was "a labor of love" for Halper. "I'm a portraitist at heart," admits Halper. "I really love creating images of people." With a thoughtful introduction by Santa Barbara's poet laureate, Barry Spacks, the book boasts 71 sepia-toned portraits punctuated by 14 still-life photographs as well as carefully chosen quotations by famous artists (Sargent included). -L.D. Porter
BETWEEN SEER AND SEEN betweenseerandseen.com
Available at Chaucer's Bookstore, 3321 State St., Santa Barbara, 805-682-6787, chaucersbooks.com